Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

The Food Almanac: September 12, 2012

The Food Almanac: September 12, 2012



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In The Food Almanac, Tom Fitzmorris of the online newsletter, The New Orleans Menu, notes food facts and sayings.

Today's Flavor
Today is Fried Shrimp Day. Even though, to my palate, frying is the most boring way to cook shrimp, and one of the most boring dishes of any kind out there, I am out of the mainstream in believing this, so forget I said it.

Still, let's look at these things. Seems to me the batter ought to be on the light side, that the shrimp ought to be in the range of medium (25 to 35 count to the pound), and (of course) that they be fresh, Louisiana wild-caught shrimp. That last qualification is not merely cheering for the home team. We really do have the world's best shrimp here, and although you can spend less on the farm-raised Asian shrimp that have taken over local supermarkets, you pay for it in flavor.

The coatings used for basic fried shrimp fall in four categories. The most common is seasoned flour, with cornmeal or corn flour (or a mix of the two) being next most popular. A certain number of shrimp fryers prefer bread crumbs; this works particularly well if the shrimp are large and butterflied, so they come out more or less pannéed. Finally, there's tempura, the Japanese style of coating the shrimp in a batter made with flour and eggs. It gets puffy when it fries. (Eaters tend to either love or hate that last style.)

Fried shrimp can go beyond the basic, and that's when they begin to hold my interest. They can be coated with the likes of pulverized nuts or coconut, or even a semi-stuffing made of crabmeat or tasso mixed with cornmeal, or wrapped with a piece of bacon, which also holds in place a wad of peppery cheese. Many such are served with a sauce, usually with a sweet-savory aspect.

There's one more issue regarding fried shrimp: why do most restaurants in the upscale category believe that leaving the tail on makes them more valuable? Answer: it's all for looks.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez
If you have some really nice, big, fresh shrimp, and you fry them, I'm going to come over and hit you over the head with a black iron skillet until you see the light.

Gourmet Gazetteer
Shrimp Creek flows into the Ogeechee River about 35 miles northwest of Savannah, Ga. It's a meandering, sluggish little stream through the woods that separate large tracts of corn farms. If you find yourself there and hungry (chances are not good for finding any but the tiniest shrimp in there), slog over to Guyton, four miles away, and put your elbows on the counter at Claudette's Country Kitchen.

Eating Around the World
Today is National Revolution Day in Ethiopia, recalling the overthrow in 1974 of Emperor Haile Selassie. Although the thought of Ethiopia usually brings up the image of starvation in the minds of Americans, the cuisine of that country and its neighbor Eritrea is interesting enough that it's very popular in the cities where it's taken hold. Washington, D.C., for example, has dozens and perhaps hundreds of Ethiopian places. At this time New Orleans has none, although we've had a couple Ethiopian restaurants in the past. To make a long story short, the cuisine has aspects of Middle Eastern and Indian food, with many unique aspects as well. A flat bread called injera is used to scoop up the thick stews. Ethiopian eating is as distinctive as it is ancient.

Music to Make Toast By
Today in 1964, a one-hit wonder band called The Newbeats had a Number Three hit with a song called "Bread And Butter." "I like bread and butter," it said, "I like toast and jam. That's what my baby feeds me. I'm her lovin' man." The lyrics go on to make a pretty obvious sexual double entendre, but apparently we were too innocent in those days to believe that's what they meant.

Edible Dictionary
coriander, n. — A member of the parsley family, whose leaves have a distinctly sharper flavor than other parsleys. References to coriander on menus or in spice jars almost always mean the seeds of that plant, which have a thin, aromatic sharpness that sets off many other flavors without jumping into the foreground, even if you use a lot of it. The plant's leaves are most often called by their Spanish name, cilantro, which tastes very different from the seeds. Few people who hate cilantro (and there are many of those) find anything objectionable in coriander.

Food Namesakes
Mathematician Haskell Brooks Curry was born today in 1900... American League Most Valuable Player in 1943, Spud Chandler, was born today in 1909... Rap singer Bizzy Bone was born today in 1976... Writer James Frey opened The Big Book today in 1969.

Words to Eat By
"Never eat Chinese food in Oklahoma." — Bryan Miller, former restaurant critic for The New York Times.

Words to Drink By
"A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for, a daunting testimony to that peculiar nation's love of detail and organization." — Kingsley Amis, author of Everyday Drinking


At IKEA we believe healthy, planet-friendly and tasty foods should be easily available for everyone. Our ASC certified SJÖRAPPORT salmon, HUVUDROLL plant balls and BÄSTISAR grains are just a few that will make your body and mind as happy as the planet.

Compared to that of a meatball, the climate footprint of an IKEA plant ball is only 4%.


Sunday Dinners the Whole Family Will Love

It's easy to get wrapped up in busy schedules — that's why it's so important to slow down and enjoy a special meal with your loved ones. From pasta to roast beef (and everything in between), these winning dinners are perfect for sharing with family and friends.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2012, Television Food NEtwork, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Chantell Quernemoen

Photo By: Tara Donne ©©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tara Donne ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Renee Comet ©Renee Comet

Photo By: Patrick Wymore ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Instant Pot Sunday Sauce

Your Sundays are now free! No more standing over the stove babysitting Sunday supper. This sauce is fully loaded with pork, beef, sausage and meatballs, and is sure to become a family tradition that won't leave you short on time to relax and enjoy Sunday Funday.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Fork-tender and juicy, this hefty chuck roast is best blanketed with a rich gravy made from the beef's herb-scented pan drippings.

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

Ina dresses up her classic roast chicken by baking it with bacon on top. Then she adds a head of garlic and a sliced lemon to the roasting pan to flavor the sauce.

Ginger-Glazed Salmon

Make sure you set some of Molly&rsquos ginger marinade aside &ndash she uses it to baste the salmon as it cooks in the skillet.

Cast-Iron Skillet Provencal Pork Chops and Potatoes

Everything in this elegant-yet-easy dish cooks in one skillet, cutting down on the cleanup. Holding the potatoes in water after cutting prevents them from discoloring while you prep the other ingredients.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Hearty and comforting, Giada's tried-and-true casserole boasts a five-star rating and nearly 1,200 user reviews. She guarantees layer upon layer of flavor by making a garlic-laced mushroom-onion sauce, plus a buttery cream sauce, both of which she mixes with tender shredded chicken and pasta. For welcome texture, Giada blankets the casserole with a cheese-and-breadcrumb mixture, which turns golden brown in the oven.

Fried Chicken with Black Pepper Gravy

Trisha&rsquos mom calls this recipe &ldquocompany chicken,&rdquo because it&rsquos perfect for serving to a crowd. She prefers to use chicken thighs because they&rsquore more flavorful than white meat.

Chicken Cacciatore

Buttery egg noodles are topped with juicy browned chicken thighs and a medley of sauteed vegetables in Ree's classic chicken cacciatore recipe.

Tricolore Stuffed Pork

The colors of the Italian flag &mdash red, white and green &mdash are well-represented in Giada's juicy pork loin. The boneless meat is wrapped around layers of creamy provolone, sweet roasted red peppers and vibrant spinach to create impressive results.

Peppercorn Roasted Beef Tenderloin

A garlicky butter sauce adds an extra-special touch to Ree&rsquos five-star beef tenderloin.

Chicken Stew with Biscuits

A special meal doesn't have to be fancy. In fact, serving something like Ina's comforting chicken stew with biscuits &mdash a sort of fuss-free, big-batch chicken pot pie &mdash is what Sunday dinner is all about: providing sustenance and comfort for the people you love.

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is thought to have been created by a Bangladeshi chef in Glasgow in the 1960s. It's a spicy, tomato-based dish seasoned with garlic, ginger, fenugreek and garam masala. In this recipe we used fenugreek leaves for their nutty and slightly minty flavor. If you can't find them, substitute dried mint leaves and a pinch of ground fenugreek. Garam masala is a popular Indian spice blend that usually includes black and white pepper, cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom, bay, cumin and coriander. It's pretty easy to find in your local grocery store and most national spice companies.

Roast Pork Loin with Applesauce

Pork and applesauce are always a winning combination, especially when they taste this good. The pork is seasoned with warming spices, like sage and thyme, and roasted until tender. It pairs excellently with a homemade applesauce, which is sure to impress both kids and adults.

Rhubarb Short Ribs

Though traditionally used in sweet recipes, rhubarb steals the show with Molly&rsquos savory short ribs. You&rsquoll need a few hours for the spice rub to work its magic, so prepare the ribs on Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Individual Meat Loaves

Ina varies the texture and flavor of her meatloaf by using a combination of ground beef, pork and veal.

Vegetarian Lasagna

You will never miss the meat in this vegetarian lasagna, with its hearty sauce of tomatoes, onions and carrots layered with spinach and creamy ricotta cheese. It's a comfort classic your family will love.

Valerie's Very Best Gumbo

Valerie loads up her gumbo with sausage, chicken and okra, then serves the dish with rice, scallions and a dash of hot sauce.

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

The best part about Ina&rsquos easy shrimp salad? It gets better the longer it sits, so feel free to prepare in advance.

Sunday Rib Roast

Ina's Mustard Horseradish Sauce accompanies her crowd-pleasing rib roast. For a dramatic presentation, carve the roast right at the dinner table.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

These easy-to-make enchiladas are filled with beans, spinach and cheese. Serve them with rice on the side.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

This recipe is for the ultimate garlic lover. Chicken thighs are braised until tender in a rich, roasted garlic sauce, then topped with fried garlic chips. There's even enough roasted garlic paste to whip up a loaf of garlic bread while the chicken cooks.

Slow-Cooker Sunday Gravy

This sauce showcases tomatoes three ways: sun-dried tomatoes add sweetness and body, toasted tomato paste adds intense flavor, while crushed tomatoes melt down into this hearty sauce.

Salmon & Melting Cherry Tomatoes

Ina whips up a simple yet delicious cherry tomato sauce for her seared salmon.

Slow-Cooker Sunday Stew

Cozy up to a big bowl of Ree&rsquos Sunday stew. A savory beer broth and buttery lemon noodles turn the dish into a comfort food favorite that&rsquos sure to please a crowd.

Marinated Lamb Chops

Reserve a bit of the marinade before coating the lamb chops &mdash it makes a great dipping sauce!

Sausage-Spinach Stuffed Shells

With three cheeses, sausage and spinach, this hearty dish offers something for everyone.

Steak Out, Italian Style

Rachael puts an Italian spin on the classic meat and potatoes with this hearty steak dinner.

Brick Oven-Style Chicken

Giada prepares this Italian-style chicken dish for a fun and festive family dinner.

Porcupine Meatballs

Beef, raw rice, onion and Italian seasoning come together in this simple dinner of porcupine meatballs. Where'd the name come from? While the meatballs bake, the grains of rice pop out and look incredibly similar to porcupine quills. Simmer the meatballs in a quick homemade tomato sauce for a delicious, family-friendly dish.

Oxtail Stew

This oxtail stew is inspired by the Jamaican version, with tender oxtails and butter beans seasoned with spicy habaneros, ginger and allspice. Time is the key to the comforting brown gravy, which simmers for several hours, intensifying in flavor and rich color. We love it even more the next day, once the beans have had time to break down and the oxtails melt into the gravy even more . Serve with a few dashes of hot sauce for added heat and acidity


Watch the video: Almanac September 16, 1898 Curious George CBS Sunday Morning 9 16 12 (August 2022).